We drove to Interlaken, Switzerland for Christmas with my sister, Joy. A couple hours into the drive we got a flat tire on the Autobahn. LOML pulled off at the nearest exit — thankfully there was one coming up right when he heard the tire deflate.
It was dusk at this time. And because of all the recent rains the side of the road we pulled off to was all mushy wet. LOML didn’t even want to attempt to fix the flat himself.
LOML had just gotten his card for the German version of AAA, ADAC, so we called that. They said a technician would be out soon to fix the tire. In that time 2 or 3 German drivers stopped to ask if we needed help. These Germans are all so nice, even strangers.
The mechanic technician arrived, decided he couldn’t fix it on the side of the road, so a tow truck was called. The tow truck pulled the van up on its flat bed with me, the kids and Joy still sitting inside. It was a strange, fun ride to the tire shop nearby. LOML rode in the cab of the tow truck. They were quick to put 2 new tires on the van and we were on our way. The whole delay was about 2 hours total. We were a little worried the tire shop wouldn’t have the right size tires. If that had been the case ADAC would have gotten us a car rental so we could finish our trip. They had tires, put them on and we were soon back on the autobahn on our way to Switzerland.
The kids, my sister and I all dozed on and off most of the ride. LOML was awesome and got us there safely. I woke up as we were driving by the lakes next to Interlaken. It was a neat site even in the dark. There was a little bit of snow, but not too much at the bottom of the valley.
Breakfast at the family hostel. Then we drove around for a bit. Up the mountain a little way until it started snowing and LOML turned around so we wouldn’t risk getting stuck with no snow tires or chains partway up the mountain. We walked around in the cold in Interlaken, had a nice little lunch at a cafe. Big Ive managed to knock over LOML’s cup of coffee spilling practically the entire thing on her and causing the cup to shatter on the floor. I jumped up with my water bottle in hand ready to douse her if the coffee was still hot. Thankfully, by that time it was just warm and she didn’t get burned. That’s the kind of moment I call a mom-heart-attack. It makes your heart race and you are all pumped full of that heart-racing hormone. (What is it called?)
We ate a traditional Swiss cheese fondue dinner at the hostel that night. I thought it was good. The cheese was different than we normally eat.
My sister met a few people from around the world and hung out with them that night. We also went grocery shopping so we could cook supper on Christmas day in the hostel kitchen.
The next morning was Christmas! We opened a few presents (vast majority for the girls) in our room and ate breakfast downstairs. The hostel provided a nice little continental type breakfast each morning.
Joy decided to go up the mountain with her new hostel friends and LOML and the girls and I went up the mountain, too. Joy ended up taking the train the entire way up. We drove part way and then took a cable car to the village of Gimmelwald. It was a fun little trip in the cold clear Christmas day. I don’t remember if I’ve ever been on a cable car before.
We get to Gimmelwald and it has lots of snow. Everything is beatiful and white and clean looking. Since they don’t have vehicles in this village none of the roads are plowed and none of the snow is dirty looking from dirty cars driving on it. It just looks really neat. LOML was worried about pushing our big double stroller in the snow up the path. I didn’t really know how we’d manage both kids otherwise.
We made it up the hill and went in an inn restaurant that was open. There was no one else in there at that time. It was still probably too early for most people, being late morning on Christmas. I think LOML said the waiter was from Australia. He was really nice and chatted with us a bit. We ordered zucchini and carrot soup and a grilled cheese sandwhich. That was some of the best soup I’d eaten. The cheese was Swiss mountain cheese from the cows nearby. It has this distinct flavor to it. It would probably take me a while to get used to it and want to eat more than a small amount at a time.
Big Ive was wandering around the place, playing with the waiters. After a little bit LOML took her outside to play in the snow. She L O V E D it. LOML said if she had had mittens and better snow pants she probably would have never left the snow. She threw a little fit when he had to bring her in.
We hung out at the restaurant for a couple hours. They have sleds you can borrow, so we let Big Ive drag it up the road a bit. She did not want to let anyone help her pull the sled. After a little bit I convinced her to lay on it while I pulled it. But that didn’t last long, either. After we got up to a cow barn we turned around and sledded (sled? what’s the proper conjugation of sled?) down together, me and Big Ive. She thought it was fun. She was very tired and very much needed at nap at this point so we left and went back down the mountain on the cable car.
We drove around for a while that afternoon so I could get a look at the beautiful clear blue water of the lake. The whole area is just completely picture perfect.
After that we played in the hostel’s kid play room for a while and I cooked supper. It was my signature sausage pasta salad with sauteed veggies. We used a sort of pancetta we found at the grocery store instead of sausage and balsamic vinegar from a squirt bottle that was in the kitchen labeled “Free Food”. It ended up being really good. The kitchen was SOOO busy that night. It seemed like everyone decided to cook Christmas dinner. LOML and I tag teamed it between kids and cooking. He chopped veggies, then I cooked the rest of it.
The next day we walked around Interlaken for a while and then drove home. This drive was uneventful. : )
It was a good Christmas holiday. We missed our family and friends, of course, but it was a nice way to spend the holiday weekend.